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G-Pac

Chevy Avalanche for towing

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G-Pac

Looking at possibly purchasing a 2004 Avalanche to pull the LSV.

Getting rid of the Escalade which I love and which has pulled very nicely for me for the last 18-20 months, just no longer an option to keep due to recent work relocation and new commuting demands.

I have been looking for a Avalanche 2500 but have only found a single used one within 100 miles of Annapolis MD, and it was in very rough shape with >100k miles.

I have found plenty of 1500s and am curious to know if any of you have this vehicle or have used it and can tell me if it is a worthy tow vehicle. Also, they come with different gear ratios, I think they said 3.73 and 4.10 for the 2004 model. How important is this ratio for towing an LSV with a substantial amount of gear and hard ballast (e.g., pop-bags in the bed for long hauls)?

My daily tow needs are minimal (less than 1 mile to ramp), but I do take regular (once or twice/month) trips to other lakes in the mountains anywhere from 3 hours to 12 hours away, so I want to be sure I will have sufficient pulling power for long hauls, hilly terrain, etc.

I am looking at a 2004 Z71 loaded, with 35k miles and the price seems right on.

Any input you can provide is appreciated, as always!!

CHEERS!

G-Pac

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88Skier

My brother pulls an LSV with a 1500 Suburban. It's got a 5.3 and 3.73 gears and pulls without any problem. I pull my Skier and Sporty with a 1500 Silverado, 5.3 HO, and I hardly know they're back there. I don't use the trailer button.

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spaznoook

We pull our 23 LSV with our Suburban as well. :)

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Big Mac

I tow my boat, snowmobiles (4-place trailer) and a 7500 lb GVW horse trailer with my Sierra 1500 pickup with 3.42 rear end. It works just fine for the horse trailer with two horses in it - pulls the boat with NO difficulty whatsoever. I use the tow/haul button and tow in third gear.

Edited by Big Mac

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CLOUT1

Sorry, no experience with an Avalanche but I do pull our boat with a Dodge 1500 and it's no problem at all. We travel up to Maine which is about 315 miles from our house and (knock on wood) never had a problem...tows just over 2000 rpm @ 75 mph. The ramp at my folks place is very steep and not the smoothest and it handles it just fine...must be the HEMI!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck with the search.

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mrothwell

I towed my SSLxi with my 1500 sub with no problem at all. I even towed it with my '92 1500 Sierra with a little V6 in it - OK hills sucked with that truck, but towing/stopping was no problem.

Remember that the Avalanche is simply a Suburban with the back cut off. You'll have no problems with it.

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Malibudude

You'll be just fine towing the LSV w/ the Avalanche, maybe add some airbags or add-a-leafs to help level it. Makesure it has the tow package.

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pennery

I towed our Echelon with a substantial amount of gear and a quad tied down on the tonneau cover... Wish I would have taken a picture of that... It towed great. Definitely not a diesel but for a gas it towed really well.. You shouldn't have any problems with it towing your LSV..

200_0023.jpg

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johnsvt

I towed my little v-ride fine with an 05 crew from Boston and just purchased an 02 Avalanche to tow with this year. I almost leased an 07 Avalanche but it was sooo much more. I have almost the same towing characteristics and I am confident the avy will "get er done." BTW nicer ride than my crew

I just sold a loaded 04 avy 32k miles... Innocent.gif

PS-Forgot the 02 has 3.73's would prefer 4.10's but I'll live the used car factory got this one wrong.

Edited by johnsvt

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Toes Up

I have an 02 Z71 Avalanche which I use to tow my RLXI. I typically use the tow/haul and third gear. No problems.

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Big Mac
PS-Forgot the 02 has 3.73's would prefer 4.10's but I'll live the used car factory got this one wrong.

My '06 Sierra has 3.42 rear end. I would have preferred 3.73, but the 3.42 works just fine, and does improve the gas mileage some.

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Bobby Light

If you will be towing any distance or hilly terrain I'd opt for the 4:10 rear end. It will tow much better and hunt gears much less than the 3:73 will. I've towed with both and the 4:10 is much better for towing. Gas mileage will be a little less, not significant however. If just towing very short distances the 3:73 will be just fine.

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electricjohn

The Escalade and Avalanche are the same platform, so other than motor size I don't see the difference or a problem. The 5.3, 295hp, 320 tq will be plenty of motor, if thats what it has. I'm guessing the Escalade had the 6.0, which only developed 40 more lb/ft of torque, 5 more hp.

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Bobby Light

Escalade has the 6.0 but has 345 hp and has 380 lbs of torque.

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Bobby Light

Besides where did the escalade come into the equation here?

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WaveMake'nLSV

For pulling it all boils down to TORQUE and gearing, IMHO. Thats why the new Tundra is going to put the hurt on GM, I think. I am not pro-import truck, quite the opposite. I am waiting for the new GMC 2500s to hit the deck. Biggrin.gif

Scott

The Escalade and Avalanche are the same platform, so other than motor size I don't see the difference or a problem. The 5.3, 295hp, 320 tq will be plenty of motor, if thats what it has. I'm guessing the Escalade had the 6.0, which only developed 40 more lb/ft of torque, 5 more hp.

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Malibudude
Besides where did the escalade come into the equation here?

The OP is getting rid of his current Escalade.

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johnsvt

Used an ESV to tow with twice this summer did not find it to be a huge improvement over my 5.3, but an escalade does have AWD and is heavier. If we were on Pinks I would need 2 lengths to beat an escalade with my old crew or my avalanche, maybe 1.5.

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Big Mac
For pulling it all boils down to TORQUE and gearing, IMHO. Thats why the new Tundra is going to put the hurt on GM, I think. I am not pro-import truck, quite the opposite. I am waiting for the new GMC 2500s to hit the deck. Biggrin.gif

True - torque is the key to major pulling but one only needs so much torque for 4000-5000 lbs of boat and trailer and that's well within the capabilities of a GM 1500 vehicle. More torque than that and one is wasting fuel, cost, and size.

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WaveMake'nLSV

Maybe I am all wet here... Shocking.gif

But I figured mine to be 4000# for the boat ONLY, plus 1500# for the trailer, plus fuel...so I am thinking my LSV loaded for the road is around 6000# which is pushing the limit for "handling" the load in my Armada which is rated to tow nearly 10k. My $.02/worth is to stay under 2/3 towing capacity for good FUNCTIONAL towing/handling characteristics. I can definately tell the LSV is behind the Armada in the turns. It does OK towing it but struggles a bit in the hills and if it weren't for the trailer brakes I would be hosed.

Scott

True - torque is the key to major pulling but one only needs so much torque for 4000-5000 lbs of boat and trailer and that's well within the capabilities of a GM 1500 vehicle. More torque than that and one is wasting fuel, cost, and size.

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Bobby Light

I think you're right on with your weights. I tow with a Trailblazer SS most of the time because of the power. If not that I tow with a silverado ss. The Trailblazer tows better. If it weren't for the trailer brakes I agree it would be an interesting trip. I've had no issues at all and have towed it up to 5 hours at a time.

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G-Pac

Awesome input from everyone. MANY THANKS....funny how mixed the responses are.

I would buy a 2500 just to be on the safe side (power, payload, etc.), but have not been able to find one. So now the trick is to find a 1500 with the 4.10 gears and that has not been easy since many online ads do not include that info and the dealers have to do actual research (access computer records for the specific vehicle) to determine it. Which they do not want to do for some "suspect" calling them over the phone.

Will keep you posted on this, appreciate the feedback!!

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Bobby Light

Hey G-Pac do a search for a 1500 HD and see what you find.

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electricjohn
Besides where did the escalade come into the equation here?

He said he was getting rid of his Escalade. You are right about the 345 hp/380 tq but that was only after 2004.

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WaveMake'nLSV

I think he is more along the lines of an Avalanche and not a 1500 pickup truck. But yes...the 1500HD seems to kind of have the best of both worlds. They, too, are more difficult to find.

But good point on the 1500HDs. I doc a work has one and has had great luck out of it! The 6.0 (even the old one) does an admirable job at pulling. Nothing like the duramax but not too bad.

Scott

Hey G-Pac do a search for a 1500 HD and see what you find.

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